Bernard Grech, member of the Maltese Parliament and Leader of the Maltese opposition, the Nationalist Party, delivered a heartfelt speech at the Free Iran World Summit on July 1, 2023. In his address, he expressed deep solidarity and support for the Iranian people’s uprising, highlighting their resilience and resistance in the fight for a new democratic and secular Republic. Mr. Grech condemned the Iranian regime’s oppressive measures, particularly the violation of human rights, and called for the protection of women’s rights and freedom of expression. He stood firmly behind the major opposition movement, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, and endorsed Mrs. Maryam Rajavi’s visionary Ten-Point Plan for a future Iran. Grech urged the international community to unite in supporting the Iranian people’s quest for change and holding the current regime accountable for its crimes against humanity.
The full-text speech of Mr. Bernard Grech follows:
Madam Rajavi, distinguished guests, dear friends,
I stand before you today deeply moved and honored to be part of this summit for the very first time. Here we gather to discuss a cause that resonates in the depths of our souls—the solidarity and support for the Iranian people’s uprising and their resilience and Resistance Units in the valiant fight for a new democratic and secular republic. At this moment, let us allow our hearts to speak.
The situation in Iran is more than dire. It is a heartbreaking tragedy of unimaginable proportions, particularly concerning the violation of human rights. For far too long, the Iranian regime has subjected its own people to a relentless cycle of oppression and brutality. We cannot turn a blind eye to the suffering endured by countless individuals, whose lives have been shattered by unspeakable acts of violence and abuse.
Today, as we gather here, we must remember that Mahsa Amini, whose life was tragically stolen from her under the guise of malevolence, is not the only victim. She represents the countless unknown victims who have silently endured abuse and violence. Their stories, often untold and unheard, deserve our attention, empathy, and action.
As the leader of the opposition in Malta, I stand before you today to raise my voice in condemnation of this appalling act and the oppressive measures enforced by the Iranian regime. In doing so, I bring forth the collective outrage and grief of the European People’s Party, the mother party of Partid Nationalista, as we unequivocally join in condemning all acts of violence perpetrated against innocent individuals.
The time has come to challenge the entrenched voices of the old men who have dictated how young women should live their lives. We call upon the Iranian authorities to recognize and respect the freedom of expression and belief of all people within the nation. Specifically, we must safeguard the rights of women and girls, ensuring they never fear violence or death simply for refusing to wear a veil against their will.
Yet, when faced with peaceful protests and the quest for justice, the Iranian regime responded with ruthless violence. It deeply troubles us that this regime has consistently disregarded UN resolutions condemning its egregious human rights violations over the past four decades. The voices of those suffering under this oppressive rule are too often silenced and ignored, compelling us to fulfill our moral duty to stand firmly behind the major opposition movement, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, and its pivotal organization, the MEK.
Leader of #Malta's Nationalist Party @bernardgrechmt: The time has come to challenge the entrenched voices of the old men who have dictated how young #women should live their lives.
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) July 1, 2023
These brave men and women have exhibited unwavering resilience for four decades, tirelessly fighting for a free Iran. Today, we acknowledge that the NCRI and the MEK are not only well-organized but also driven by an unwavering commitment to bring about the fundamental change that Iran so desperately needs. Their visionary 10-point plan, meticulously crafted by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, provides a beacon of hope in these dark times. This plan outlines a clear path toward a future in Iran, one that renounces violence and oppression. It envisions a society where the shackles of the IRGC and Sharia law are cast aside.
The plan champions the separation of religion and state and embraces gender equality, pluralism, and the full spectrum of individual and social freedoms. It dreams of a society where freedom of expression, assembly, and the press are cherished, where diverse ethnic populations can flourish within the framework of Iranian territorial integrity, and where an independent judiciary safeguards justice. Moreover, this plan aspires to establish a non-nuclear Iran that actively promotes peace, coexistence, and international cooperation.
Today, I stand here with a heart brimming with pride and declare that the majority members of the parliament in Malta, including myself, wholeheartedly support Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the mother of a future democratic and free Iran, and her ten-point plan. Together, we affirm our unwavering commitment to upholding justice and human rights in the face of oppression. In a resolute statement, we condemn the Iranian regime’s relentless meddling not only in the Middle East but also in Europe.
Today, we call upon the international community to join hands and stand united with the Iranian people in their unwavering quest for change. We cannot afford to be silent bystanders any longer. The time has come to take decisive steps against the current regime, including the urgent blacklisting of the IRGC and holding every regime official accountable for their crimes against humanity. Let us seize the moment, not just as a fleeting opportunity, but as a resolute commitment to stand in unbreakable solidarity with the Iranian people. They deserve nothing less than a democratic and secular republic that respects human rights, cherishes freedom, and fosters equality.
Together, let us kindle the flames of hope and make a resounding difference, delivering the change that the brave people of Iran yearn for and truly deserve.